Your elderly family member needs you, but your job may need you, too. So, what can you do when you’re faced with what feels like an impossible situation? It might not be as impossible as you fear.
How Much Help Does Your Senior Need?
To start out, you might find it helpful to know how much help your elderly family member truly needs. Having this baseline gives you a chance to sort out how vital it is that you’re immediately present. It might be that your senior needs help at specific times of the day, like around mealtimes and when she’s getting ready for the day. This can help you to determine what you can do and when you can do it.
Talk to Your Boss
It’s worth taking the time to talk to your immediate boss or supervisor about what’s going on. Before you meet, get real with yourself about what you can do and how caregiving is impacting your work. There might be suggestions your boss has for meeting your needs and the company’s needs that you didn’t think were possible.
Research Employee Assistance Programs
Larger companies have access to something called an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. These programs can offer you access to additional assistance that can make your life easier as you deal with real-life issues. These services are paid for by your employer and offer you free assessments and connections to resources you might not have been able to access on your own.
Think Outside of the Box
To get the help that you and your senior both need, you might need to think outside of the box a little bit. There might be a way for you to work from home, especially if your employer is open to that idea. There may be other options, too, that are creative and that allows you to be both an employee and a caregiver depending on which role most needs to be filled in a given moment. It helps if your employer is supportive.
Bring in Elder Care Providers
Elder care providers can make a huge difference for you with this issue. They are able to take over for you and allow you to focus on something else, whether that’s work or another task entirely. You’ll know that your senior is in good hands, which does enable you to be able to put your full attention on something else.
There’s a delicate balance involved in being a caregiver, especially if you’re a caregiver that has to work for someone else. Your employer might just be the key to ensuring that you are able to get what you need both from your job and from caregiving.